Empire (1962 TV series)

Empire is an hour-long Western television series set on a 1960s 500,000-acre (2,000 km2) ranch in New Mexico, starring Richard Egan, Terry Moore, and Ryan O'Neal.[1] It ran on NBC from September 25, 1962, to May 14, 1963.[1]

Male cast members clockwise from back: Warren Vanders, Ryan O'Neal, Charles Bronson and Richard Egan, 1963.
StarringRichard Egan
Ryan O'Neal
Terry Moore
Anne Seymour
Charles Bronson
Warren Vanders
Composer(s)Johnny Green (pilot episode and two more episodes, plus series theme)
Leith Stevens (two episodes)
Hugo Friedhofer
Van Alexander
Richard Markowitz
William Loose
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes32
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Eaves Movie Ranch
Wilrich Productions
DistributorScreen Gems
Sony Pictures Television
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 25, 1962 
May 14, 1963
Followed byRedigo
Related showsBonanza; The Big Valley; Giant

In the second abbreviated season, from September 24 to December 31, 1963, it was renamed Redigo after Egan's title character, Jim Redigo, the general manager of the fictitious Garrett ranch in Empire, and reduced to a half-hour.[2] Empire was shown on ITV in the United Kingdom as Big G.


Egan starred in the series at the age of forty-one, having previously been in the hit film A Summer Place. Redigo was a rare ranch manager, having a Master of Business Administration degree. The ranch was located somewhere in the American Southwest, but the exact location was never pinpointed. The Garretts did have an empire. Besides ranching they were involved in oil, agriculture, and mining. The series has unusually- titled episodes.

Empire also featured 22-year-old Ryan O'Neal, some two years before he gained greater recognition as Rodney Harrington in ABC's Peyton Place. O'Neal, who began acting in 1959, played the son, Tal Garrett.[3] Terry Moore portrayed O'Neal's 33-year-old sister, Connie, who had a romantic interest in Redigo. Their mother and ranch matriarch, Lucia, was played by 53-year-old Anne Seymour (19091988).[4]

Another cast member, Warren Vanders, appeared in fifteen episodes as Chuck Davis. Anne Seymour and Terry Moore were dropped at mid-season; it was said that Seymour's character, Lucia, had died and Moore's character, Connie, had left the ranch in her grief. Charles Bronson, then forty-one, entered at mid-season in an all-male cast to portray the tough ranch hand, Paul Moreno, in thirteen remaining episodes.[4]

In the second 15-episode season, O'Neal and Bronson were gone, too. Roger Davis, later of ABC's Alias Smith and Jones, was added to the cast as Redigo's new ranch hand.[5] Elena Verdugo, later of Robert Young's Marcus Welby, M.D., starred as Gerry.[6][5]

The pilot episode of Empire entitled "This Rugged Land", with Denver Pyle and Charles Bronson, never aired. In the pilot, a ranch foreman persecutes a man whom he believes killed his daughter.[7]


Title Original air date
0"This Rugged Land"N/A
Unaired pilot.
1"The Day the Empire Stood Still"September 25, 1962 (1962-09-25)
2"Ballard Number One"October 2, 1962 (1962-10-02)
3"A Place to Put a Life"October 9, 1962 (1962-10-09)
4"Ride to a Fall"October 16, 1962 (1962-10-16)
5"Long Past, Long Remembered"October 23, 1962 (1962-10-23)
6"Walk Like a King"October 30, 1962 (1962-10-30)
7"The Fire Dancer"November 13, 1962 (1962-11-13)
8"The Tall Shadow"November 20, 1962 (1962-11-20)
9"The Earth Mover"November 27, 1962 (1962-11-27)
10"Pressure Lock"
December 4, 1962 (1962-12-04)
11"Echo of a Man"December 12, 1962 (1962-12-12)
12"When the Gods Laugh"December 18, 1962 (1962-12-18)
13"Green, Green Hills"December 25, 1962 (1962-12-25)
14"Stopover on the Way to the Moon"January 1, 1963 (1963-01-01)
15"The Four Thumbs Story"January 8, 1963 (1963-01-08)
16"End of an Image"January 15, 1963 (1963-01-15)
17"The Loner"January 22, 1963 (1963-01-22)
18"Where the Hawk Is Wheeling"January 29, 1963 (1963-01-29)
19"No Small Wars"February 5, 1963 (1963-02-05)
20"The Tiger Inside"
"The Hunted"
February 12, 1963 (1963-02-12)
21"Season of Growth"February 19, 1963 (1963-02-19)
22"Seven Days on Rough Street"February 26, 1963 (1963-02-26)
23"A House in Order"
March 5, 1963 (1963-03-05)
24"Down There, the World"March 12, 1963 (1963-03-12)
25"Burnout"March 19, 1963 (1963-03-19)
26"Hidden Asset"March 26, 1963 (1963-03-26)
27"Arrow in the Sky"April 9, 1963 (1963-04-09)
28"Nobody Dies on Saturday"
April 16, 1963 (1963-04-16)
29"65 Miles Is a Long, Long Way"April 23, 1963 (1963-04-23)
30"Duet for Eight Wheels"
April 30, 1963 (1963-04-30)
31"Between Friday and Monday"May 7, 1963 (1963-05-07)
32"The Convention"May 14, 1963 (1963-05-14)

Guest stars

Robert Vaughn guest starred as Captain Paul Terman, a paraplegic friend of Redigo's in need of life-saving spinal surgery, in the 1963 episode "No Small Wars."[8] Inger Stevens also appeared as a paraplegic, Ellen Thompson, in another episode, "Duet for Eight Wheels".[8] Jeremy Slate portrayed Mike Novak, a ranch hand whose competition with Tal Garrett ends in a deadly boxing match, in the 1963 episode "The Loner".[9] Harry Dean Stanton was cast as Nick Crider in the 1963 episode "Nobody Dies on Saturday", along with William Schallert as Sully Mason and Don Gordon as Quinn Serrato.[10]

Claude Akins was cast as Joe Horvath in two episodes, "Ride to a Fall" in 1962 and the unusually-titled "65 Miles Is a Long, Long Way" in 1963.[8]Robert Culp, previously of CBS's Trackdown and later of NBC's I Spy, played an ambitious man who schemes to marry Terry Moore and fire Redigo in the 1963 episode "Where the Hawk Is Wheeling".[8] John M. Pickard, formerly of Boots and Saddles and Gunslinger, was cast as a sheriff in the 1962 episode, "A Place to Put a Life".[11]

Dayton Lummis appeared as Jason Simms, with Joanna Moore as Althea Dodd and Arthur O'Connell as Clayton Dodd in "Green, Green Hills" (Christmas Day, 1962).[12] Joanna Moore thereafter married Ryan O'Neal and became the mother of actress Tatum O'Neal.[4] Lummis was cast again on the series as Thomas Fenton Giler in the 1963 episode "Down There, the World."[8]

In addition to the aforementioned, many other guest stars appeared on Empire, including:


Empire was created by Kathleen Hite, a writer for CBS's Gunsmoke. William Sackheim and Hal Hudson, formerly with CBS's Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre, produced the series, a Screen Gems offering.[4] The program was filmed at the Eaves Movie Ranch near Santa Fe and near Storrie Lake in Las Vegas, New Mexico.[13]

Empire had mediocre ratings opposite CBS's The Red Skelton Show and the last season of ABC's detective series, Hawaiian Eye with Robert Conrad and Connie Stevens.[14] The series was reduced to a half-hour the second year, as Redigo.[5] Redigo had by that time secured his own smaller ranch.[5]

The shorter format made it difficult to develop complex characters, and the show was soon canceled. Still on Tuesday evenings, Redigo fared poorly against Red Skelton and ABC's military situation comedy McHale's Navy starring Ernest Borgnine.[14]


  1. Terrance, Vincent (1979). Complete Encyclopedia of Television Programs (19471979). Volume 1. Cranbury, New Jersey: A. S. Barnes and Co. pp. 138. ISBN 0-498-02488-1.
  2. Terrance; page 384
  3. Ryan O'Neal on IMDb
  4. Empire on IMDb
  5. Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (December 1999). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows (1946 to present) (7th ed.). New York: Ballantine Publishing Group. p. 848.
  6. Redigo at epguides.com
  7. "Unaired Pilot: This Rugged Land" on IMDb
  8. "Empire". Classic Television Archive. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  9. ""The Loner", January 22, 1963". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  10. ""Nobody Dies on Saturday", April 16, 1963". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  11. ""A Place to Put a Life", October 9, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  12. ""Green, Green Hills", December 25, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  13. IMDb Film locations: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055663/locations
  14. 19621963 American network television schedule
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